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Chiropractic Blog

Chiropractic Care for Constipation

Published Date: 
June 1, 2023
A woman is in pain because of constipation.

Constipation is a common health concern. Occasional constipation is rarely a cause for concern, although it can be uncomfortable. Chronic constipation can be a symptom of a serious condition. At the least, it causes uncomfortable symptoms, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal pain when passing hard stool

Most of the time, constipation is caused by dietary issues, but it’s also linked to:

  • Certain medications
  • Medical conditions/diseases
  • Nerve problems

There are many ways to manage constipation. The easiest and best way to reduce your risk of constipation is to add more fiber to your diet. Additionally, visiting the chiropractor can help you avoid or alleviate constipation.

What Causes Constipation?

Several things can contribute to constipation. For example:


Blockages might be caused by the following:

  • Tears/fissures in the skin around the anus 
  • Bowel obstruction/intestinal blockage
  • Abdominal cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Problems with the nerves around the colon and rectum
  • Rectum bulge through the back wall of the vagina 
  • Narrowing of the colon 

Neurological Problems

Neurological problems are also linked to constipation. Nerve problems might be caused by the following:

  • Autonomic neuropathy/damage to bodily function nerves 
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Stroke
  • Difficulty with elimination muscles 

Pelvic Muscle Problems

Pelvic muscles play an important role in elimination. If you struggle to relax your pelvic muscles or you have weakened muscles, it can cause constipation.

Woman holding a roll of toilet paper while standing in washroom.


Hormones help balance fluids in your body. A lack of fluid can cause stool to harden and be difficult to pass. Diseases and conditions that affect hormones include:

  • Diabetes
  • Overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism)
  • Pregnancy
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

Other Risk Factors

There are other risk factors, some of which are manageable, that increase someone’s risk of constipation. This includes:

  • Age
  • Biological sex
  • Dehydration
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Inadequate physical activity
  • Certain medications
  • Mental health problems
  • Eating disorders

How Can Chiropractic Adjustments Help Relieve Constipation?

Chiropractic adjustments help constipation.

This is because the digestive system is connected to the spine through a system of nerves. Good communication between these nerves is necessary for the digestive system to function correctly.

Chiropractor adjusting lower back of female patient, to help alleviate constipation.

Spinal misalignments disrupt nerve communication and can cause dysfunction, leading to constipation. 

Chiropractic adjustments correct spinal misalignments, remove nerve interference, and restore proper function to the intestines. This reduces your risk of constipation. 

Case Studies

One study confirmed that chiropractic therapy can be used as an adjunct to other forms of conventional treatment of GI disorders. In this study, researchers reviewed studies published between 1980 and November 2012 in peer-reviewed journals concerning chiropractic care. Most articles reported mild to moderate improvements with no adverse side effects.

Child sitting on toilet holding length of toilet paper struggling with constipation.

Another study concluded that chiropractic adjustment appears to have a role in the improvement of chronic constipation. This study showed near-immediate relief of symptoms after just one chiropractic adjustment. The study subject experienced:

  • Between three and five bowel movements per week during the first week of chiropractic treatment
  • More than five bowel movements by the second week of chiropractic treatment
  • Three to five bowel movements during the third and fourth week of chiropractic treatment
  • Five or more bowel movements per week after the fifth week of chiropractic treatment and onward 


If you are suffering from constipation, regardless of its severity or frequency, chiropractic care can help. It’s not only a great way to treat the problem but also improves overall health and reduces the risk of constipation. If you are in a high-risk group for constipation, consider incorporating chiropractic treatments into your self-care plan to prevent a problem from developing.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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